Kim Jong Un presides over huge military parade in North Korea as Vice President Mike Pence arrives in South Korea on eve of PyeongChang Winter Olympics. pic.twitter.com/Lin5Sp10Xa
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 8, 2018
President Trump wants his own military parade, and the Pentagon appears to be down with giving him one. However, Trump can’t really outdo the experts at such authoritarian shindigs, for North Korea has staged an enormous military parade on the eve of the Pyeongchang Winter Games. As always, Kim Jong-un surveyed a vast display of planes, tanks, ballistic missiles, and goose-stepping soldiers. Although the BBC notes that the festivities were “smaller than recent years,” the event included four Hwasong-15s — the regime’s shiny, new intercontinental ballistic missile said to be capable of reaching Washington, D.C.
While the parade was pre-scheduled to commemorate the founding of the Korean People’s Army by Kim Il Sung, it also serves as a chest-thumping display of military prowess ahead of the traditionally peaceful Olympics. So, Kim Jong-un wasn’t raining on Trump’s parade, but his regime did shut down the idea that their officials would meet with the U.S. in South Korea. The Independent passes on unequivocal word from North Korean state news:
“We have never begged for dialogue with the U.S. nor in the future, too. Explicitly speaking, we have no intention to meet with the U.S. side during the stay in South Korea … Our delegation’s visit to South Korea is only to take part in the Olympics and hail its successful holding,”
It doesn’t sound like North Korea ever wants to talk to any U.S. representatives, which includes Mike Pence making an obligatory public offer to hold such talks in Pyeongchang. Alas, Pence won’t be granted such a meeting, but he may be more upset about the gay Olympic figure skater who won’t speak with him either. Well, here’s more parade festivities to (not) cheer folks up…
— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 8, 2018